James Brolin Joins Rush of Yuletide Movies

Holiday movies have taken over my family.  My mother, 83, and daughter, 22, have already sat through at least five or six of the Hallmark Channel and Lifetime confections that are coming at us like plates full of fudge.  When I invited them to join me to view tomorrow night’s (Nov. 25) Hallmark Movie Channel Christmas With Tucker, there was Dad, 87, too — slapping his knee and laughing when the cute puppies appeared.  I am bemused by this, as …

Is There Comedy in Geriatric Care? Yes, on HBO

Getting On, HBO’s off-kilter new comedy series, is about nurses and doctors working in a female geriatric care unit at a California hospital – not exactly the sort of setting that would seem to inspire humor. Still, the show has genuinely funny moments, even while it remains realistic about its environment. It’s a delicate balancing act, though. Take the first moments of the show’s premiere, which airs Sunday night at 10 on the pay cable network: brand-new nurse Didi (Niecy …

‘Alpha House’: Early Results Are Strong

Alpha House is a very funny show, certainly the best of this fall’s new TV comedies. But you won’t find it on any broadcast or cable network. This half-hour comedy, about four Republican senators who share a Capitol Hill brownstone as their home-away-from-home-district, is the first original production from Amazon Studios. It begins streaming at Amazon on Friday, Nov. 15: The first three episodes will be available, free, to all customers at the online retail giant. Thereafter, Amazon Prime subscribers will …

‘Challenger Disaster’ Movie Captures Gripping History

The Challenger Disaster is one of those movies – The Social Network and Moneyball are other fairly recent examples – that manage to wring gripping, suspenseful drama from a subject that wouldn’t seem to inspire it. The film, which premieres on Science Channel on Saturday night at 9, recounts the true story of the Rogers Commission, the presidentially appointed group that investigated the cause of the 1986 space shuttle Challenger explosion. As the Discovery-owned cable net’s first-ever feature film, it’s …

50 Years Later, JFK Death Again a TV Event

The flood of upcoming TV specials commemorating the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination threatens to be a little redundant: Conspiracy theories aside, we probably know about as much as we’ll ever get to know about that awful November day. >> Sign up for the AARP Leisure Newsletter That’s not to say that remembering the tragedy isn’t important. It’s just to point out that the most interesting of the JFK-themed programs scheduled to air in the run-up to the Nov. …

Time of Death: Life-Affirming TV

Dying is a subject most people would rather not talk about, let alone base an entire television show on. But on Time of Death, Showtime’s poignant, oddly beautiful docu-series that premieres tonight at 10, there’s no escape from watching life’s final act. The show follows real people who are terminally ill - medical treatment may keep them alive for a while, but there is no hope for recovery. All the main subjects of this show will die: It’s the rare TV …